How Many Baby Clothes Do I Need?
When you’re pregnant, one of the first questions you have (after “Is it a boy or a girl?”) is how many baby clothes to buy. You may not even know where to start. After all, your little one will go through a lot of clothes in their first year. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
In this post we will show you exactly how many baby clothes you will need at each age to make shopping and preparing your baby shower really easy! We’ve included a newborn clothes checklist so you can see at a glance what you need to have on hand when baby arrives. There is also a free printable newborn clothes checklist that you can download and print.
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Baby Clothes Checklist
Getting ready for a new baby is an exciting time! It can also be a bit overwhelming as you try to determine what kinds of things you will need to purchase for your new little one. With so many baby products available and every baby being so different, it can be hard to know what will be useful and what will wind up never being used.
One thing all babies have in common…they’ll need to be dressed! But deciding on how many baby clothes to stock up on in each size can be a challenge. Below you will find a size-by-size guide on stocking your baby’s closet, as well as some general tips you can use to plan your baby registry.
When it comes to having a baby, there are so many things to think about. One of the most important decisions you have to make is how many baby clothes to buy. You may be asking yourself, do I need a lot of clothes or will my baby just spit up on everything?
There are a few things you need to take into account when deciding how many clothes to buy for your little one.
The first thing to consider is the weather. If you live in a cold climate, you’ll need more clothes than if you live in a warmer climate. You’ll also need more clothes if your baby is going to be crawling and playing on the floor than if they’re just going to be sitting in a car seat or stroller.
Winter babies born in cold weather will need more long-sleeve bodysuits and also full-body outerwear such as a fleece snowsuit, hats and mitts. You don’t really need to worry about a winter coat until your baby is a toddler and can walk around on their own.
If your baby will be born in the summer months, you’ll need a sun hat and more onesies that will keep them cool.
Washing Baby’s Clothes
Another thing to consider is how often you’ll be doing laundry.
Laundry is one of those household tasks that seems to never end. This will only get worse once you have a little baby. Newborns may be tiny but you will be surprised at how many baby clothes you go through by the end of the day. If you don’t plan on doing laundry frequently, you will want to consider getting extra basics for your baby.
Different baby clothing sizes
Just like with adult clothes, different brands will fit differently depending on your baby’s body type. For example, I found that Old Navy clothes are really wide and pretty big while Carters pants are great for long babies. You’ll find a big difference between baby’s clothes in various stores so it will take a bit of trial and error to find your personal favorites.
Most stores follow the same sizes for baby clothes:
- 3-6 Month
- 6-12 month
- 12-18 Months
If you see clothing that just lists the month for example, “6 months” you can assume the item will fit babies on closer to 5-6 months than 6-7.
How Many Newborn Clothes Do I Need?
Newborn clothing is one of the trickiest sizes to plan for, as some bigger babies may not even fit into newborn sizes for long. A good rule of thumb is to keep your newborn outfit selection minimal. If you have newborn photos planned, pick two or three cute outfits for special occasions and keep the rest functional.
Although many first time moms want to buy all the newborn items, there are many things you don’t need such as shoes and fancy dresses. Also, while you want to have enough clothes, you are more likely to have too many.
Some newborn babies are only in this size for a week or two, and some not at all so you really don’t want to buy too much in this size.
Newborns need diaper changes frequently! Plan for that by selecting mainly one-piece articles of clothing like bodysuits and onesies. When your newborn is at home, you can simply wrap a blanket around them or pop them into a swaddle when it is time to get cozy. For going out, make sure you have some baby socks and a good hat, as well as a light extra layer to keep them comfortable.
How many onesies do I need for a newborn?
This is the number one newborn need! Plain white Gerber Onesies are the top selling newborn baby item.
You’ll use them on hot days as clothing and undergarments on cooler days as layers of clothes are much better for your baby. Onesies also allow for quick outfit changes on the go. Plan for 7-10 onesies or bodysuits for your newborn.
Other items you need include:
It is important to keep baby’s feet nice and toasty, even in the summer if you have the air conditioner on. Unless you are planning on keeping your baby in all in one pjs all the time, you’ll want about 5 pairs of socks for their little feet.
Footed sleepers are a a good choice for any climate and many people use them for both pjs and for everyday where in the first few months. If you have the choice, the zippered versions of sleepers are a great idea as doing up tons of snaps gets old really quickly when you are changing your baby multiple times a day.
Most babies will also sleep in a sleep sack until they can roll over. This is because you shouldn’t use blankets or quilts in a crib due to safety concerns. A sleep sack is a wearable blanket that will keep your baby snug and warm at night.
Hats and Mitts
It is important to keep baby’s head nice and warm no matter what time of year it is but especially during the cold seasons. Many hospitals will send new parents home with a little hat so this might not be something you need to buy.
You may however, need to buy some little mittens to stop your baby from scratching themselves with their little nails. Gerber has a really cute set of newborn hats and mittens.
Newborn Baby Clothes Checklist
- 7-10 bodysuits
- 5 pairs of socks
- 2 cute outfits
- 5 footed sleepers
- 1 hat
- fleece snowsuit for colder climates
Click here to print this newborn baby clothes checklist for free
How Many Clothes Do I Need For A 3-6 Months Baby?
As your baby moves up towards to a larger size of clothing, you can continue to keep things simple with bodysuits and onesies, as they will still require frequent diaper changes. This is also a great size to plan for a few really adorable baby outfits, as you’ll probably be going out more than in the newborn days!
For everyday wear, your washing machine will thank you for not adding too many extra layers or fancy, multi-piece outfits.
A sleep sack or swaddle over a onesie is still an appropriate choice for nighttime at this age, so you may want to have a couple extra of these items on hand in case of nighttime messes.
How Many Clothes Do I Need For A 6-12 Months Old Baby?
This next size is where you can plan for a few changes to your baby’s wardrobe. The two biggest reasons? Crawling and solid foods! Most people also find that their baby is in this size for much longer than the two smaller sizes which means you can spend a little more on fun clothing items.
Adding a few comfortable, sturdy pairs of pants to your baby’s closet during this time can help protect little knees while allowing your baby to explore all the new mobility they are developing. If you have slippery floors in your home, you may also want to trade out the baby socks for toddler socks with anti-slip grips on the bottoms.
For mealtime, many parents will simply strip their baby down to a diaper to save themselves all those extra loads of laundry!
Otherwise, having a good supply of simple onesies that can be swapped out easily after a messy meal is a good idea.
Bibs can be useful, but you can also be sure that your baby will find a way to get food everywhere BUT their bib some days. Be prepared for a lot of laundry and a few extra baths as your baby explores this new phase of life!
Clothing Needs At 12-18 Months
Approaching the toddler stage brings with it some new clothing options. You may be transitioning out of sleep sacks for bedtime and into pyjamas.
Depending on the season and your child’s development, you may be looking for shoes, outerwear, and other new items that you didn’t need before they started exploring the outdoors! Many budding toddlers also love removing their own clothes, and parents will sometimes have to get creative to keep their little ones dressed.
This is also the clothing size where you will find more different options depending on whether you have a baby girl or boy. Dresses, jumpsuits and little jeans are all a good way to have fun with your baby’s clothes!
Baby Clothes Checklist: FAQS
How many newborn baby clothes do I need?
The answer to this question can be a bit tricky since newborns vary in size so much. If you anticipate an average sized baby, a good rule of thumb is to have enough outfits to go through about three outfits a day for a few weeks before they will need to size up.
If you do laundry twice a week, that means that about 10-12 onesies or body suits, 3-4 sleepers, 3-4 sleep sacks or swaddles, a few pairs of baby socks, and a hat or two. Don’t forget a cute outfit or two for pictures! Keep newborn clothing minimal and simple…but remember, you can never have too many burp cloths!
What size of baby clothes will I need the most of?
Because all babies are different, it is sometimes hard to know how many clothes to plan for in each size. Plan for about 10-12 simple outfits, a few options for sleep, and a “special” outfit or two in each size. You can always add to that as you go once you discover how your baby fits into different clothing sizes and how quickly they grow.
How do I dress my baby in different seasons?
If you live in a colder climate or have a winter baby on the way, take the baseline number of outfits and plan to add an extra layer every time you go out! Fleece bodysuits, wearable blankets, long sleeve outer layers, and a few extra thick hats and socks will go a long way. Just make sure to stay away from puffy coats or snowsuits when putting your baby in their car seat, as that can be dangerous.
For warmer climates, make sure your base outfits are all made of breathable material and skip some of the extra layers. Muslin swaddles, cotton bodysuits, and sun hats will be good compliments to your summer baby’s wardrobe.
How can I save money on baby clothes?
To save on baby clothes, ask for clothing as baby shower gifts, see if any of your mom friends have hand-me-downs they would share with you, check your local mom groups, and shop consignment stores. Babies outgrow clothing fast, and often used baby clothing is still in great condition!
Another big expense can be diapers so make sure to check out this post on how to save on diapers.
Bear in mind that while many people will gift you clothing items for your newborn, most people love buying fancy newborn outfits that you will barely get a chance to use. If possible, direct your friends and family to think buying newborn size clothes so that you have a number of clothes for when baby grows.
Many baby items might be cute, but aren’t really useful. Baby shoes, fancy outfits, and accessories are all fun things to dress your baby in from time to time, but if your goal is saving money, don’t feel bad skipping those extras!
Remember, all babies are unique. Some newborns will wear 3-month clothes from day one, while some 18-month-olds can still fit nicely into 12-month clothing!
You will get to know your own baby over time and be able to better anticipate what you might need for the next size up. Happy shopping!